Based on yesterday’s post, I think the timing of this one is excellent.
I finally did what was so hard for me to do as an over-protective dad. I brought Noah on a “tough-guy” hike. The destination, Donut Falls, which you’ll remember from my little fiasco last summer when I nearly killed myself trying to get an awesome picture.
The hike itself is relatively easy, less than a mile, and hardly difficult at all. Unless you count the steep half mile or so wrong trail I accidentally took Noah, Kelsey Blue Eyes, her mom, and her grandma on (don’t worry, no injuries or heart attacks this time).
It was the perfect little hike for some perfect little pictures along the way.
Just before getting to the destination, there was a tricky little part to get over. I helped Noah get down it, overly careful not to let him slip or slide. I could tell he was slightly annoyed that I was insisting on being attached to him the entire time, but oh well. As a dad who didn’t wanna see my kid bust his head, I figured it was the least I could do.
Now, a couple hundred feet or so past this part was the bottom of the climb for those who actually wanna get right next to the falls. On the way, there was a long rock ledge. Another dad was letting his kid climb up it, and I could see Noah’s longing eyes as he watched this dad help his daughter down again. So I asked him if he wanted to try it and practice climbing to see if he would be able to do the big part of our hike. Before I could even finish the offer, he was half-way up and had done it all on his own.
He did it without fear and like it was nothing. Which kind of sucked for me because there’s nothing a whole lot worse than your kid not needing you on the tough stuff anymore. Part of me wanted him to struggle so that I could make an excuse not to attempt the climb to the falls with him. After all, lots of people just hike to the bottom and look at Donut Falls from below, so it wouldn’t necessarily be a letdown. The other part of me, however, was excited to let him experience one of the best parts of hiking… scrambling to the final landmark.
He came down and we snapped a few daddy/son pictures. He was all smiles and weirdness, proud of himself for his victorious climb.
Then, we made our way to the lookout and we started scrambling toward the falls. Kelsey with the camera, me with Noah. At first I sternly demanded that Noah not let go of my hand. I insisted that I would help him up every step of the way to avoid any calamity.